Nilesh Sangani


As Interviewed by Vedant Sangani, March 24, 2019

Nilesh Sangani: In His Own Words

My name is Vedant Sangani and I interviewed my dad, Nilesh Sangani, about his experiences on migrating to the United States. He discussed about the cultural differences between US and India and the immigration process.

First time I started comparing how we had things done in US and how things have been done in India, it was radically different. I saw US to be very capitalistic country, right, everything was so materialistic. It was I am doing a thing, because I needed to achieve this x-y-z thing. In India, it was very different. We do certain things because-- itís all cultural. The way we work here, right, you know, itís we had a very disciplined way of working here. We account and acknowledge and respect the time of everybody else, here in United States that is something of a challenge in India. Challenges when I came to US was, again, adapting to the culture that we had here. I did not find any of my religion temples.

I came on a work visa, which is called H1-B. The prerequisites of that was very stringent. You know, you had to have a bachelorís degree in the area where thereís companies looking to fill a position. And not only that, you need to have a bachelorís degree plus good amount of experience to demonstrate that yes, you are having the skills that is not available here in US. And or alternatively you could have done your masterís degree in the field that you are, you know, wanting to come here, and plus you can have a limited, I would say, one year or two years of experience in that field. So that was one of the hard requirements we had for the H1-B visas. I think the company I was working with, they thought the value of my skills were of good value. They wanted me to stay here permanently.

It took me, if I remember it right, a little over 14 years, Wow, 14 to 15 years to get me the Green Card. I had my shares of, you know, ups and downs if you will throughout the whole process. And what were they? There was a big long list of one documentations that they expect in this whole process. And again, that was not the hard, or the challenging piece. But along the way, I think this whole wait and watch, for this whole 15 long years, was the most difficult piece of it.

So all in all, I think this process of just my application, just moving around, and not being acted upon, you know, just knowing all of those facts and, in parallel, seeing that people who come in amnesty, who come in other wrongful ways and getting their, you know, citizenship on a lottery basis, much faster than going through this legal process, Vedant, was, I think, the other difficulties and challenges I saw. You know, for me to explore other opportunities, other--- or get even a promotion within the same company to a better role and a better pay, was something that was not allowed. Because, again, Green Card, as one would know, comes with a very stringent set of requirements. So, you have to be a quote on quote, software engineer for the life of the application process. You could not get up higher in the chain in the company, or you could not even become a software developer of some other companies, for example, software engineers of some other companies. So, just boxing yourself in that mode for this long period was a very hard adjustment for me.